Blair Stoneburg Shines as Pine Crest Girls, Jesuit Boys Win Florida 2A State Titles

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

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After deciding to move on with its postseason, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) hosted the 2A State Championships on Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Sailfish Splash Waterpark and Aquatics Center in Stuart, Fla.

After a dominant performance, the Pine Crest girls captured their second-straight – and 29th overall – state title with 338 points over Gulliver Prep (186.5). Jesuit clinched the championship crown on the boys’ side, finishing with a score of 277 ahead of last year’s champion Pine Crest (185).

Click HERE for full results and team scores.

GIRLS MEET

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Pine Crest – 338
2. Gulliver Prep – 186.5
3. Jensen Beach – 177
4. Academy of the Holy Names – 173
5. TR Robinson – 154

The meet began as Pine Crest’s Julia Podkoscielny (25.13), Riley Botting (29.31), Esther Lin (25.57), and Hanna Smith (23.99) dominated the 4×50 medley relay, winning the opening event by over five seconds in 1:44.00. Podkoscielny (23.18), Isabella Chambers (23.94), Botting (24.13) and Smith (24.35) also teamed up to win the 4×50 free relay in 1:35.60.

Shortly after helping her team win the opening relay, Podkoscielny was back in the water to successfully defend her state title in the 200 IM. The sophomore blasted a time of 1:59.14 as the only swimmer in the field to crack the two-minute barrier. She also won the 100 back for the second year in a row, powering home in 54.29 to win by over three seconds.

Jensen Beach’s Blair Stoneburg dominated the 200 free for the second-straight year, blasting a time of 1:44.63 to win by eight seconds. The junior’s time was just off Morgan Tankersley’s state record of 1:44.31. The future Wisconsin Badger then dropped a 4:39.10 to win the 500 free by 14 seconds, and her time was again shy of Tankersley’s 4:37.60 state mark.

Lake Wales freshman Mary Hardman sprinted to gold in the 50 free, stopping the clock in 23.88 to edge out George Washington commit Chloe Hernandez (23.90) of Gulliver Prep by two-hundredths. Hardman capped off her standout rookie campaign by adding the state title in the 100 free as well, cruising to the wall in 51.49 for the victory.

After placing second in the 100 fly last season, Clay’s Sara Stotler found herself on top of the podium this year after posting a three-second victory in 53.35. The soon-to-be Lady Vol also finished second in the 200 IM with a time of 2:01.32.

Freshman Rylie Darkatsh of Stanton College Prep won the 1-meter board after posting a final score of 378.70. Mater Lakes’ Michelle Fernandez secured the gold medal in the 100 breast for the second-consecutive year, touching the wall in 1:04.59 ahead of Botting (1:04.61).

Jensen Beach’s Brynn Stoneburg (53.08), Madeline Kohs (54.80), Emily Miller (52.63) and Stoneburg (49.04) joined forces to win the 4×100 free relay in 3:29.55, well ahead of Gulliver Prep’s 3:34.11.

BOYS MEET

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Jesuit – 277
2. Pine Crest – 185
3. Mater Lakes Academy – 164
4. JR Arnold – 135
5. Stanton College Prep – 125

The boys’ meet began as Jesuit’s Nicholas Shaffer (23.48), Liam Schindler (26.91), Erick Magalhaes (23.78), and Sam Prabhakaran (21.65) won the opening 4×50 medley relay in a combined time of 1:35.82. Shortly after, Shaffer dove back in the pool to clinch an individual win in the 200 IM. His time of 1:50.83 was three seconds ahead of second place.

The 200 free proved to be a tight race, as Lincoln Park’s Jake Sciscente swam away with the gold medal in 1:40.35, just a half-second ahead of runner-up Elliot Weisel (1:40.88) of Rockledge. Weisel then redeemed himself by winning the 500 free, clocking in at 4:34.24 ahead of Stanton College Prep’s Mehdi Elaoufir (4:37.02), and Sciscente again grabbed gold in the 100 back with a time of 50.31.

George D. Chamberlain’s Chance Tirheimer sprinted his way to the gold medal in the 50 free, stopping the clock in 20.34 ahead of Georgia Tech commit Joshua Hanks (20.61) of Pine Crest. Turheimer proved his sprint prowess by also clinching a victory in the 100 free, besting the field by nearly two full seconds in a final time of 44.70. Hanks also successfully defended his 100 breast state title, winning by just over two seconds in 55.65.

Baker County senior Braeden Knight concluded his high school career as state champion in the 100 fly, getting his hands to the wall the fastest in 51.01. Pine Crest’s Kevin Mendez dove to first place on the 1-meter board in dominant fashion. His final score of 560.45 was 80 points ahead of the runner-up, and his win marked his fifth-consecutive gold medal in the event.

Mater Lakes’ Daniel Quijada (21.88), Ronny Rueda (22.16), Anthony Robaina (22.28), and Agustin Rodriquez (21.52) won a tight 4×50 free relay battle in 1:27.84, slightly ahead of Pine Crest (1:28.02). Jesuit’s Prabhakaran (47.52), Armando Destrade (49.26), Aidan Clements (47.48), and Shaffer (45.96) concluded the meet by winning the 4×100 free relay in 3:10.22, five seconds ahead of Stanton College Prep (3:15.43).

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